There’s been a lot of talk of gay pride this year. From President Obama’s official support of gay marriage, to February’s Federal Court ruling that California’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, there’s been a lot of positive thinking. The latest comes as California’s governor Jerry Brown issued a proclamation declaring June 2012 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, and this proclamation was welcomed by California’s premier gay pride city, San Francisco.
As preparations ramp up for the annual Gay Pride Parade (the last weekend in June every year), a visitor to the city can find a lot of history about the gay pride movement here. Harvey Milk’s campaigns for city supervisor and commissioner are honored in the Harvey Milk Plaza in Castro Village, while the Gay Pride Parade itself originated in Golden Gate Park back in 1970, and since 1972, has been held every year. The rainbow flag, the icon of the gay pride movement, was also established in these early parades, and now a version of the flag hangs above the Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro Village, a symbol to all.
The culmination of Pride Month is, in San Francisco at least, is the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transexual Pride Celebration, which begins on Saturday, June 23rd, from noon to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Civic Center. Festivities include over 300 vendors, artists and other exhibitors, and an impressive lineup of comedy and music performances. On Sunday, at the corner of Market and Beale Street at 10:30 a.m., is the annual San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade, which proceeds along Market Street for about 10 blocks, ending at 8th Street. Always a colorful and vibrant parade, this year promises to be no different. Among this year’s Grand Marshals are Sarah Silverman, Dot Jones, Carmen Carrera, Rainbow Flag creator Gilbert Baker, former mayor Willie L. Brown, and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo.
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